Minnesota National Guard
Spc. James D. Wertish
Olivia, Minnesota
Age 20

Specialist James David Wertish, 20, of Olivia was killed in combat.  He was assigned to the 34th Military Police Company in Stillwater, Minn.  Spc. Wertish was killed when Contingency Operating Base Basra was attacked by indirect fire Thursday, July 16 at approximately 9:15 p.m Iraq time.

Spc. Wertish was born January 18, 1989 in Redwood Falls, Minn.  and is a graduate of B.O.L.D. High School in Olivia, Minn.  He enlisted into the Minnesota Army National Guard on February 28, 2006.  He graduated from One Station Unit Training as a 31B, Military Police at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.  On April 15, 2009, Spc. Wertish deployed to Basra, Iraq with the 34th Military Police Company in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Spc. Wertish loved working on his family farm. Fellow Soldiers in 1st Platoon said Spc. Wertish would literally give you the shirt off his back.  “He loved snowmobiles and playing Rock Band II.  He could always make us laugh with his humor; we could count on him to improve our day.”

Spc. Wertish is survived by his parents David and Kim Wertish, two sisters and a brother.

Spc. Wertish’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and the Combat Action Badge.
James Werdish

In The News links

Memorial honors fallen Cottage Grove, Woodbury soldiers

The Patriot Guard Riders forum

KARE11 News- Three MN Soldiers killed in Basra attack

Pioneer Press- 3 Minnesota Soldiers die in Iraqi assault

Star Tribune- 3 Minnesota National Guard Soldiers killed in Iraq

Minnesota Public Radio- Three Minn. Guard members killed in Iraq attack

Associated Press- Families: 3 killed in Iraq were Minnesotans

Morris Sun Tribune- Olivia's James Wertish is one of three Minnesota Soldiers killed in Iraq

West Central Tribune- Olivia mourns death of Guard member James Wertish

Associated Press- Iraq: Suspect arrested in attack on US base

KSTP5- Vigil Held for Fallen Minn. Soldiers

WCCO- Hundreds Gather At Vigil For Killed Servicemen

KARE11- Vigil honors Minnesota's fallen servicemen

FOX9- Vigil Held for 3 Killed Minn. Soldiers

FOX9- Pancake Breakfast to Support Troops
Final Arrangements

Press Release: Funeral Services Announced for Spc. James D. Wertish

Memorial: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=39565468

High Res Photos
Our Fallen Troops

Photo Gallery from Funeral Services
Press Release: Three Minnesota National Guard Soldiers killed in Iraq
James Wertish on Facebook